- Paperback: 244 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 7, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1461098882
- ISBN-13: 978-1461098881
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 19 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #716,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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An Unconventional Guide to Investing in Troubled Times Paperback – September 7, 2011
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Charles Hugh Smith is full of good wisdom and practicality. My big criticism of the book
is that its readability is poor due to using a sans serif typeface. This is such a common
problem these days: with self publishing the art of using good typefaces has disappeared.
Books are mostly unreadable as are most websites now.
When we speak of investments, we are not talking about investing, we are talking about products to invest in or classes of products to invest in such as: bonds, stocks, certificates of Deposits, etc... these are just a portion of what you can invest in.
We tend to identify investing in only a particular class, as described above, with gambling in securities. Gambling here being defined as purchasing a financial vehicle (security) simply on the belief that others' behavior will influence its value and therefore allowing us to make a profit. Example: you buy a stock which is trading at many times its book value (as most of them do) in the hopes that others will do the same therefore allowing you to sell it at a later date for profit. The fact that no value has been created and that the price of the stock moved by reason of fear or some expectation is now the "standard" practice, very few people question this today.
Investing on the other hand is when you have control of the asset and through your efforts you are able to determine its growth in value, thereby increasing its intrinsic value which you can then exchange for a profit. Example: you purchase/create a company which then expands.
I have seen that quite a lot of people gamble in the market while at the same time believing in their minds they are investing. In the USA I have also seen that when you mention the word "invest" ONLY a narrow array of securities come to mind. Through personal experience I know that most people that have "invested" in these types of assets barely make 5% APR if that at all. The author of this book contends that it is actually 2%.
If the above comments surprised you then this book will be extremely helpful since it will explain why this narrow view of investing is actually extremely risky and outside of your control, together with why you are actually getting a low return.
If you are a seasoned investor in paper-financial instruments (securities) such as the ones above, this book will give you the framework that, in my opinion, would allow you to choose those assets with the most profit potential.
Lastly, whether you are a professional investor or not, this book spends quite a bit of time detailing why we live in extraordinary times and why the existing economic-trading models are poised for failure, this you need to know to mitigate risks.
If you belong to the old traditional school of economic thought and standard financial adviser mentality, this book may shock you because it forces you to question the basic foundations of what we were taught or had to learn, however your clients will benefit tremendously from this insight since you will be able to protect them a lot better.
It is not an easy read in the sense that the author is very learned and uses an academic vocabulary, I recommend having a dictionary nearby, however the concepts he illustrates are simple to follow and he does give plenty of examples.
This book is written in an almost "stream of consciousness" fashion.
It is long, very long.
The author repeats himself a lot. I think this book was written by the author talking into a tape recorder and then typing it up later. The same idea's swirl around again and again.
Unfortunately, I didn't get to the advice portion of the book. I just couldn't push myself that far.